Troost-Ekong hails ‘improved’ Super Eagles’ performance against Ecuador

Troost-Ekong hails ‘improved’ Super Eagles’ performance against Ecuador

The stand-in captain for the Super Eagles, William Troost-Ekong, believes he and his teammates played better against Ecuador than they did when they faced Mexico five days earlier.

Ekong in his post-match assessment said the Eagles deserved more than they got in the early Friday morning outing in New Jersey in which they lost 1-0 to the World Cup-bound Ecuador team.

Before the defeat against Ecuador on Friday morning, Jose Peseiro’s side had lost 2-1 to Mexico in their first friendly last Sunday in Dallas

“I thought it was a good performance from the boys barring in mind we played under a new coach. We had like five, six training sessions since we got here,” Troost-Ekong told reporters after the game.

“It was an improvement from our performance against Mexico especially in the first half and against a strong Ecuador team. I don’t think we deserve to lose in the end.

“One thing we want to do in these games is improve our performance and understand what the coach wants from us.”

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With attention now shifting towards the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe, Ekong insists lessons learned from the friendlies will be vital for the Super Eagles.

“Of course, the most important thing now is the two matches we play in Africa (AFCON 2023 qualifiers). Things will be better when we play Sierra Leone next week,” he assured.

Troost-Ekong also reflected on how the Super Eagles fared against the South Americans.

“Ecuador gained momentum with that early goal. It was like a home game for them. The atmosphere was lively. It was great to see a lot of Ecuador fans in the stadium. Nigerians fans were also there too,” Troost-Ekong noted.

“They started the game very well. Then we took control and played well in the second half as well.

“Ecuador also created some good chances and that was because we were a little impatient and tried to get the equaliser. It was a good performance from us and we deserved more than that the eventual result.

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“Half-time message that we have to try and push hard from our performance in the first half. In the 15 minutes of the first half, we tried to press a little higher.

“We took more risks by playing one on one. I think you see in the second half, they didn’t have much of the ball. They were not comfortable on the ball.

“Maybe we started the game by respecting them too much. We know they are a very good team. We played better in the second half,” he added.

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